Across the world, there are inspirational leaders and pioneers from all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, sexes, and genders. Some of these people are well-known and recognised, others don’t always have a platform to share their stories.
The thought of providing the inspirational stories of those less known, yet influential, characters is part of the reasoning behind Yahoo Finance’s decision to create a video series to showcase the career journeys of some of the most influential women across business, tech and academia.
“We really wanted a vehicle to champion all these women but, at the same time, show that these businesses are most successful by having that range of diversity and inclusion,” says Lianna Brinded, head of Yahoo Finance UK and host of the Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded video series.
The idea for the video series, according to Brinded, came about as a result of the DNA of both herself and the entirety of the Verizon Media Group, which Yahoo Finance is part of. This DNA is one which works to be as diverse and inclusive as possible, presenting this through its workforce, products, and marketing.
As such, Yahoo Finance – which boasts over 100m worldwide multi-platform visitors per month, according to comScore – promises this video series isn’t just a “one project wonder” created on the back of International Women’s Day. The financial news publisher has already launched other projects that focus on work management, and diversity and inclusion in the workplace. And it’s looking to launch networking groups around Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded to bring together women from across a variety of industries to “advocate, help amplify, and help each other out”.
“The way of reaching more people is to make sure that the editorial that you do and the products that you build are all within growing a community. And that includes bringing in a lot more women, it includes bringing in a lot more diverse communities, that can see a product that evolves as society evolves,” says Brinded.
“So, if you look across Yahoo Finance, it’s not just this series.”
In the first episode of Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded, Brinded sat down for a chat with Eileen Burbidge MBE, an American venture capitalist and chair of Tech Nation.
Burbidge – who has worked at companies including Apple, Skype, and Yahoo – is a founding partner at Passion Capital, an early-stage London venture capital firm. Passion Capital has invested in startups like Monzo, GoCardless, and Adzuna.
Alongside her roles at Passion Capital and Tech Nation, the UK’s network for tech entrepreneurs, Burbidge is also a non-executive director at Dixons Carphone.
“Eileen has been one of my heroes that I’ve seen across the industry for the last few years. To me, she is the embodiment of what a change agent should be. She’s not just someone who has had a great career and we should just put her on a pedestal,” says Brinded. “She’s actually transformed the industry that she’s in, she’s helped champion other women, she’s had a career that has been built on building teams. She’s also had an incredible trajectory in terms of how she’s done that and how she’s elevated people along the way with her.
“Overall, she’s in an industry which is predominantly male and she’s shown that if you believe your ideas, if you work hard, if you work with others around you, then you can succeed in whatever you want to do. On top of that, she’s very candid and honest in terms of navigating that – and I think that’s very inspirational.”
Watch Eileen Burbidge talk to Lianna Brinded
The Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded series isn’t just influenced by inspirational women on-screen – in the form of Brinded and her guests – but also has an influential name working on the project off-camera: Lara O’Reilly.
O’Reilly is widely-considered one of the best journalists in the marketing and advertising space and has previously covered the industry as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal and senior editor for global advertising at Business Insider.
In 2016, O’Reilly was named ‘Digital Journalist of the Year’ by the London Press Club and, two years’ prior, was named in MHP’s ’30 Under 30 to Watch’ list.
Now, she’s taken on the role of executive producer for the Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded series.
“I’ve always gravitated toward strong, talented women. And Lara has been one of those journalists that is one of the standouts in her field. She, of course, has dozens of other job opportunities and that’s going to continue because she’s one of the most talented journalists in her sector,” says Brinded.
“What I really feel is testament to her coming on board is she really believes in the project. She really believes in what we’re trying to build. And, even though she still has a lot of opportunities coming her way, she wants to stay and focus on this because it’s not just a one-off thing that we’re looking to do.”
So, Global Change Agents with Lianna Brinded kicked off on 3 April with Eileen Burbidge and will run twice monthly for nine months. But why should you watch it?
“The reason this is different is that it’s not just showcasing the people right at the top – the people that would be recognised in the high street that your mum and dad would know. These people may not have had that platform before and be showcased as much as they have been, despite all their achievements and all that they’re doing for other people and women in work and in their industries,” says Brinded.
“This one fundamentally gets to the heart of the story of the women changing the world and they may not be on every TV or every billboard, but they are 100 per cent the people that are changing our lives and probably don’t even know it.”